عربي | كوردى



Experts find mass grave in Shingal thought to contain 500 Yezidis

Experts find mass grave in Shingal thought to contain 500 Yezidis

2019/04/16 | 12:20

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)-

KOCHO — The remains of hundreds of Yezidis executed by Islamic State (ISIS) militants are believed to have been discovered at a mass grave in Kocho, Shingal.It's one of 15 burial sites in the village of Kocho, a Yezidi village in the Shingal district.The Iraqi government, the International Commission on Missing Persons and the United Nations are conducting an exhumation of the suspected mass grave sites."The bodies in this grave will be sent directly to the forensic department in Baghdad, and I went to Baghdad and visited the laboratories and saw the process there," said Haitham Ahmad who has lost four family members.In the summer of 2014, the ethno-religious Yezidi minority in northwestern Iraq and the Kurdistan Region were targeted by Islamic State (ISIS) extremists streaming from Raqqa to Mosul across the border with Syria."I am confident that the crimes of Daesh will be revealed through the examination of these bodies. It (the examination result) will be stored by them until all the 15 mass graves in Kocho, 14 inside Kocho itself and one in Sulag, are exhumed and only then can we receive them officially and give them a proper burial," added Ahmad.Only 26 bodies have been recovered so far at the site in Kocho, although 500 victims' remains are through to be buried there.Kocho is one of the southernmost villages in the Yezidi homeland of Shingal.Nayif Jaso is the mayor of Kocho village. The village is still grieving for those they lost."There are about 380 people from the village who were slaughtered here. They were all our people. They were all our uncles and cousins and there is no hope left," he said.More than 70 mass graves were identified in the Shingal district after it was liberated from IS in November 2015. Some have been washed away by heavy rains, others exhumed by locals — much to the regret of the official teams."But our major demand is to receive their bodies, forensically identified, so they can be buried and have a grave just like any other human being," the mayor added.The fate of thousands of missing Yezidi men and women remains unknown as the ISIS group was defeated militarily in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria last month.Reporting by Associated Press 























































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